How Pneumonia Relates to Coronavirus

How Pneumonia Relates to Coronavirus

Jan 01, 2021

Coronavirus infection occurs when air droplets containing the infectious agent enter the upper respiratory tract. As the virus multiplies, it eventually reaches your lungs. Infection in the lungs can cause pneumonia.

Connection Between Pneumonia and COVID-19

The oxygen you breathe crosses into your bloodstream through the small air sacs in the lungs known as alveoli. If the coronavirus agents reach the alveoli, they might damage them and cause pneumonia symptoms.

As your immune system responds to the antigens of the coronavirus pathogens, and inflammation might occur. The inflammation causes dead cells and fluid to build up in the lungs. When there are fluids and dead cells in your lungs, regular breathing is interrupted. Therefore, you might experience symptoms such as shortness of breath and coughing.

If one developsCOVID-19 pneumonia, they might be at risk of developing acute respiratory distress syndrome. Patients with the acute respiratory syndrome have difficulties breathing. Therefore, they might require mechanical ventilation to help them breathe.

How Is Regular Pneumonia Different From COVID-19 Pneumonia?

The signs and symptoms of regular pneumonia are not very different from the COVID-19 ones. The similarity between the two makes it hard to differentiate between the two. To determine which condition you have, you should consider a test for COVID-19 and other respiratory infections. COVID-19 is highly infectious; thus, testing would come in handy in prevention.

Study shows that people with coronavirus pneumonia tend to have:

  • Pneumonia that affects both lungs, unlike the regular one that affects one lung
  • Ground-glass through a CT-scan on the lungs
  • Abnormalities in lab-tests, especially when accessing the liver

Signs and Symptoms of COVID-19 Pneumonia

The signs and symptoms of coronavirus pneumonia are similar to other types, such as multifocal pneumonia. The common symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Difficulties breathing
  • Cough which might sometimes not be productive
  • Chest pains when you cough or breath deeply
  • Fatigue

When to Seek Emergency Care Services

If COVID-19 is left untreated, you might be at risk of developing further complications and sometimes might cause death. Therefore, if you or your loved one experiences the following symptoms, you should consider visiting an emergency room near you:

  • Difficulties breathing
  • Shallow or rapid breathing
  • Persistent chest pains when you breathe heavily or cough
  • Fast and rapid heartbeat
  • Confusion
  • A bluish color on your lips, nails, and face
  • Difficulties sleeping or staying awake during the day

Diagnosis at an ER near Me

To diagnose COVID-19, your specialist performs a test that detects viral agents in your blood or respiratory fluids. During the test, your specialist will take a swab from your nose or throat. Other than the swab test, your doctor might recommend a chest x-ray to confirm the diagnosis. The chest x-ray or CT-scan helps your doctor visualize changes in your lungs.

A blood test would help determine the severity of the disease. After taking your blood sample, your doctor will perform a complete blood count or metabolic panel test.

Treatments

There is no known treatment for COVID-19. However, your doctor will recommend supportive treatments that involve treating the symptoms. One of the supportive care techniques your doctor might consider is mechanical ventilation to help you breathe. If your symptoms are not severe, your doctor can recommend oxygen therapy.

People with viral pneumonia might develop a secondary bacterial infection. To clear the bacteria infection, the physician will prescribe antibiotics.

Risk Factors of Coronavirus Pneumonia

Some of the factors that might increase your risk of developing pneumonia in case of a coronavirus infection include:

Old Age

People over 65 years are at a high risk of developing severe complications. Living in a nursing facility can also increase their risk of COVID-19 complications such as pneumonia.

Weakened Immune System

A weak immune system due to cancer treatments, HIV, and bone marrow transplant causes the body to lack the ability to fight infections. Therefore, if you get a coronavirus infection, you might be at risk of developing severe complications.

Underlying Conditions

If you have any chronic illnesses such as diabetes or hypertension, they weaken your immune system and increases your risk of complications.

Finding an Emergency Room Near Me

If you show any signs of COVID-19 or pneumonia, you should consider visiting an emergency room near you. In Lake Jackson, you can contact us or walk into our ER at Altus Emergency Center for diagnosis and treatments.

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